Richmond has represented La Crosse’s North Side in District 1 since 2004 and has served nine consecutive terms. She also represents the same district on the La Crosse Common Council, where she has served since 1989 with a brief intermission.
“I have always considered it a privilege and an honor representing my constituents in District 1, for the city and county in both capacities. I will still remain on the city council until my term is up in April 2023,” Richmond said.
One of the longest serving members of the county board and soon-to-be the longest serving woman on council, Richmond has had a stint as council president and ran for mayor of La Crosse in 2008. She has long been a passionate voice for the North Side, where she’s lived since 1967, but says she’s most proud of helping bridge the work between communities.
“It wasn’t just the North Side. People from all over the city would call me because they knew I would respond to my concerns, and that is part of being in the government office is you have to respond and I always treated everybody equally,” Richmond said.
Still, she said there was something about the North Side that made her eager to represent her neighbors.
“There was something about the draw of the North Side and we loved it and never moved anywhere else, and I just felt it was the right thing to do and run for office and help the constituents no matter where they lived,” she said.
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Serving on both bodies positioned her to help collaboration between the city and county, and she said she’s been proud to help on developments downtown such as the La Crosse Center and Belle Square, and the work done to improve the corridor through the North Side.
Richmond worked for La Crosse Footwear for just over 27 years, working in both billing and purchasing throughout her tenure.
As a representative, Richmond has served under six mayors and said she prided herself in being quick to respond to constituents in and out of her district.
“I love representing my constituents,” she said. “I did it because I love helping people. If they had a call and a need, I was responding to them.”
Richmond faced a write-in candidate in 2020, and as of Thursday, no other candidates had filed to run for Richmond’s now wide-open seat, but she said she hopes people jump at the chance to serve District 1.
“You have to have a passion and want to be the person that you helped in the long run and whether that’s trying to solve their issues or try to say I’m making a difference,” Richmond said.
“I just hope that there’s a lot of people interested in serving in District 1,” Richmond said.
Looking to spring
So far, incumbent supervisors who have declared candidacy for re-election are: Ralph Geary, District 2; Maureen Freedland, District 4; Grant Mathu, District 5; Gary Padesky, District 7; Peg Isola, District 8; Dawn Wacek, District 9; Kim Cable, District 10; Randy Erickson, District 12; Tina Tryggestad, District 13; Margaret Larson, District 14; chairperson Monica Kruse, District 15; Dan Ferries, District 16; Wisconsin Rep. Steve Doyle, District 20; Vicki Burke, District 21; Pam Viner, District 22; Kevin Hoyer, District 24; David Hundt, District 26; and Karen Keil, District 28.
Notably, former assistant chief of police and newly elected La Crosse Board of Education member Rob Abraham has declared his intent to run against supervisor Burke in District 21.
Other incumbents being challenged include Mathu, facing Megan Pauley; Padesky facing Ellie McLoone; Doyle facing Jordan R. Briskey; Hundt facing Troy Gundersen and Keil facing Guy Valiquette.
Additionally, Dennis Jake Jacobsen has declared candidacy for the county’s new district, District 25, which was created through the redistricting process, and Mike Baroni has declared candidacy for District 18, where incumbent Noelle Weber Strauss has yet to declare.
No other incumbents have yet to file non-candidacy papers or declare they intend to run again. Candidates can begin circulating signature papers on Dec. 1, and the deadline to file all paperwork is Jan. 4.
Elections will take place April 5, 2022, with a primary scheduled for February 15 if needed.